Group Wants To Empower Scio Township Officials To Block Oil Drilling

May 15, 2014

The clock is already ticking for opponents of oil drilling in Scio Township.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has until June 20th to respond to West Bay Exploration's application for a new well.

Scio Township Mineral Rights Meeting
West Bay Exploration Vice President Patrick Gibson discusses his company and what they are looking for in Scio Township at a public meeting in April.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The head of Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards Laura Robinson thinks the township can stop the effort based on environmental dangers, public health risks and road issues.

Robinson says her group is also pushing legislative efforts to give townships the authority to ban drilling completely.  She says they will work on a ballot petition if necessary.

West Bay officials have said these types of concerns are typical when first coming to a community, but their operations have a positive track record.  They want to drill an exploratory well to determine if more drilling is warranted.

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— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.